6:29 min May 06, 2024

Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau Community Grant Program

Learn about the important projects recently funded through the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau's Community Impact Grant, which has disbursed nearly one million dollars among 104 community initiatives since 2022!

So far this year, 38 projects have received funding, plus a second round of $300,000 was recently announced to support even more community initiatives in 2024. Here is a look at some of the latest projects benefitting all who live, work, and play in the Pocono Mountains.

Another season of song and scenery will soon return to Harmony in the Woods, an outdoor live performance venue tucked away in Hawley.

“It’s intimate where you're not going to have a lot of crowds, it's BYOB, and just pure magic. People say it’s the best kept secret,” explained Jill Carletti, creative director.

Harmony in the Woods received $4,000 to enhance and bring awareness to its fourth season of concerts happening every weekend from July 5th through September 7th, 2024.

“We have everything from blue grass to jazz-funk to orchestral small chamber style groups, incredible indie folk-rock banks that are up-and-coming and tour all over the United States,” she added.

And here in nature, under the shady trees, people become rooted together as a community while enjoying acts from all over the world. “This is the place where you can start to say, ‘I saw them before they became Taylor Swift-size.’ You can see them right on the way up,” Carletti smiled.

From songs to stories of the past. In Stroudsburg, the Monroe County Historical Association received $20,000 for display cases to bring to life many artifacts that have been sitting in storage due to limited space.

“And they're going to be a much higher quality display case with lighting and humidity control,” said Amy Leiser, executive director.

The Historical Association is headquartered at the Stroud Mansion, a historic home built by Stroudsburg's founding family in 1795. The organization is able to re-imagine and expand its thirteen public display rooms in the Stroud Mansion thanks to a 13,000 square-foot Heritage Center being added to the property.

“We're having a room dedicated to women's history, a room dedicated to our diverse community, the Native American tribes and first families, and another is going to be Vacationland,” Leiser explained.

The Vacationland exhibit will highlight the history of hospitality in Monroe County with memorabilia from former small boarding houses to big resorts, plus the Poconos' iconic Honeymoon Era.

“We do have a heart-shaped tub, which we'll encourage visitors to sit in and experience, so it's going to be a fun room,” Leiser smiled.

From one small town to another, in the iconic downtown Jim Thorpe, $10,000 will help refurbish 26 Victorian lights lining Broadway.

“They have gotten foggy. If you look at the chimneys in the lights, they're faded and dark. Soon, you’ll be able to see the lights very well,” said Michael Yeastedt, vice president of Jim Thorpe Borough Council.

It’s an intricate process being done in phases, involving an out-of-state company that specializes in projects like this. “They take the light and strip it down completely, run it through a process, take all the paint off and refurbish it, then put new electronics in and put it back together,” he explained.

The Victorian lights were originally gas lit, then eventually converted to electric. Jim Thorpe's leaders say it's important to keep them shining bright, for safety and scenery.

“If you see most of the pictures online, you'll see the lights lit at night with the trees that are currently blooming and it's just a pretty picture when you look down the street,” Yeastedt said.

In Milford, a historic building that was once a doctor’s office then law firm, will soon serve as transitional housing for homeless individuals and families with children. Family Promise of the Poconos received $1,000 to help make the property ADA accessible.

“Last year in Pike County we provided assistance to 28 families who were homeless and we helped get them in stable, independent homes,” said Enid Logan, executive director.

After exclusively serving Monroe County, Family Promise expanded its reach to the neighboring Pike County in 2019 to provide residents with rental and utility assistance.

“There was no provider for those who are without homes. The homeless here had no advocate. So, we expanded our operations and a year and a half ago changed our name from Family Promise of Monroe County to Family Promise of the Poconos to better represent our footprint,” Logan explained.

In addition to four temporary housing units, this will also be a walk-in 211 access site for anyone needing food, housing, transportation, childcare, or other resources. Case managers will help on-site or provide reference to another agency.

“This is such an ideal location. We're walkable to jobs, school, playgrounds, and it’s very close to the library so parents can take their children down there,” she added.

From helping the homeless and honing in on history, to lighting up the downtown and stage, the PMVB Community Impact Grant continues leaving a positive mark across the Poconos. Visit to learn more.